VERONA, NJ - A random encounter in eighth grade gym class introduced Carolyn Feeley to jumping hurdles. Little did she know it would lead to a 4-year athletic career at Verona High School as part of both the winter and spring Track & Field Teams. She has been a key part of the winter track team’s success, including a second place finish at the SEC championships. Feeley is the TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove Hillbilly Athlete of the Week.
“We had a Track & Field unit back in eighth grade gym class. I tried the hurdles and I thought it was pretty fun so the summer leading to freshman year I told coach I wanted to try out for hurdles and as you can see it stuck,” Feeley said.
Now a senior, Feeley has been competing in both hurdles and high hurdles for four years.
“Carolyn is one of our team captains and has exhibited relentless dedication on both our winter and spring track teams since her freshman year,” said Head Coach Gene Leporati. “She competes in both our high hurdles and demanding 400m hurdle races. She is a wonderful and understanding mentor for our younger hurdlers. Carolyn exemplifies the qualities that coaches and teammates admire.”
Feeley is happy with the way the season has progressed and credits team chemistry for a big part of their overall success.
“The team is great. We have such a supportive atmosphere. We really do have a close bond and that’s been the best thing,” Feeley noted. It really helps motivate us and we push each other to do our best. We lost some good seniors last year, but everyone has really stepped up and risen to the challenge and that’s been paying off so far.”
Indeed, hard work has been paying off. A second place finish at the SEC championships last month is something that Feeley is quite proud of.
"At the SEC championship we placed second out of 17 teams, so I think that was definitely a success for us,” she said. “I had a good performance and I know a lot of my teammates had great times, so it was great to see.”
Feeley is looking forward to the rest of the winter season and the spring season that lies ahead.
“Personally I want to PR. I’ve been working hard to get my times down and trying to step it up a little. I think there are similar goals across the team so it will be fun to see how everyone does,” Feeley said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing how we all progress this year. I think we have a lot of potential.”
TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.